Relationship are an important part of our lives. They require
nurturing and now and then needs a new spark. Professional relationships
are no different, especially with your boss. They take time to develop
and can go amiss if not nurtured properly. This may affect your
productivity at work if not your entire career.
In this month that’s all about love we focus on positive workplace
relationships and offer a few guidelines to help soften your
relationship with your boss if it’s between a rock and hard place!
Find a way to connect on a human level
Get to know them! Talk to them on a regular basis and find out what
their interests are. This is key to building a strong relationship as it
is critical for your success. Bear in mind that like everyone else,
they too have bad days - it could be family related or financial. Use
that as an opportunity to get closer, ask about the weekend or how the
kids are doing without getting too comfortable. This will give you
insight on what kind of individual your boss is and enhance relations
between the two of you.
Make their goals your priority
After all, this is a professional relationship! And your goal as an
employee is to make your boss’ life easier. Find out what’s on their
schedule and ask how can you lighten the load. Understand their overall
objectives and align them with yours this ensures that your performance
counts towards the success of the overall organization.
Bear in mind that making their goals your priority does not mean sucking
up or being false. Keep it as simple as finding out what they are
working on and being of assistance.
Understanding their communication style
Different people prefer different mediums of communication. Respect your
boss’ preference. If he or she is an email person, adapt to that. If
they prefer telephone calls and face-to-face meetings adjust
accordingly. Take note if they are over elaborative or seldom get into
detail. This includes their management style as well. Observe if they
are authoritative, democratic or affiliative. This will help with your
behaviour and knowing how to respond appropriately.
To help make it easier you can compile a list of what impresses your
boss and what ticks them off, again this will help with how you should
behave. For example, if your boss appreciates you handing an assignment
in on time, they probably appreciate everything else being done on
It’s a good feeling when you can answer your boss’s questions on the
spot, without shuffling through piles of paper or telling them that
you’ll have to get back to them. But if you really want to exceed
expectations, pre-empt the question. Anticipate what they want you to
stay on top of, and send them regular updates. By adopting a few simple
habits you can show your boss that you are a consistent and dependable
member of the team, and who doesn’t want someone like that by their side
if the going gets tough?
It’s a two-way street and everyone has something to offer. The healthier
the relationship the better satisfaction you will both get from work.
Wherever you are in the corporate ladder, your boss is as important as
you and it’s to your advantage to get along with them and vice versa.